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slycat: cooking through the stacks

slycat's picture

I asked one of my boys, who is still home, what he wanted for dinner tonight. Homemade Macaroni and Cheese.... okay.


21st Century Mac "N" Cheese from the Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper.


This is different than my traditional mac and cheese which is thickened with a bechamel sauce. She has you use and egg. You put the egg along with some onion, garlic, milk, three types of cheese, (cheddar, cream cheese and Gruyere), in a food processor along with some paprika, s&p and red pepper flakes. Give everything a whirl and pour it over the cooked pasta and bake. Super easy and very good. I followed the recipe except doubled the red pepper flakes.


Served it with a green salad and a bowl of oranges drizzled with balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper. Yum, comfort food.


Cathy


 

TracyK's picture

(post #67256, reply #1 of 51)

I love that recipe!


The second time I made it I decided to sweat the onions slightly to take away some of the raw onion taste, and ended up overcooking them to the point of near-caramelization, and that was delicious too. I might keep doing that, on purpose. :-)



"The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every day."
                                                        --Jon Stewart

MadMom's picture

(post #67256, reply #2 of 51)

Both versions sound delicious, but I'm finding that raw onions tend to upset me more than cooked ones, so may try the almost caramelized ones.



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TracyK's picture

(post #67256, reply #3 of 51)

At this point I've made it several times, and I really do prefer cooking a least half the onions. The caramelized ones add a whole different layer of flavor, it's really nice. Particularly paired with a salad of some kind of sharp green with a nice acidic vinaigrette.


"The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every day."
                                                        --Jon Stewart

slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #4 of 51)

I think caramelizing the onions would be really good. I will try that next time. This was so easy.


Cathy


 

evelyn's picture

(post #67256, reply #5 of 51)

sounds like my kind of recipe (the easy and good part), but how does it rate for creaminess and cheesiness? More of anything, in your opinion?

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #6 of 51)

It was very creamy and cheesy maybe partly due to the cream cheese in it. But I think you could use any combination of cheese you wanted.


Cathy

evelyn's picture

(post #67256, reply #7 of 51)

thanks. I'll definitely be making it next couple of days. :-)

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
TracyK's picture

(post #67256, reply #8 of 51)

IMO it's the perfect blend of creamy and cheesy, without the floury mouthfeel of the bechamel-based versions.


I do one other thing differently than the recipe suggests -- I do not put the grated cheese in the FP with the onion, garlic, milk, cream cheese, etc. I keep it out and stir it in just before putting the whole thing in the casserole. That way it stays in larger pieces and you still get the stringy cheesiness.



"The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every day."
                                                        --Jon Stewart

evelyn's picture

(post #67256, reply #9 of 51)

good point - my kids like cheese strings in their food (who doesn't?).

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #10 of 51)

It is fun having kids home to cook for. Tonight I made...


Pasta with Chopping Board Pistachio Pesto from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper.


We all agreed that it was really good. I will defiantly make it again. Because you chop the pesto up on a cutting board it still has lots of body to it, unlike traditional pesto. My son really liked it. She also says you can use almonds, but I had pistachios so I used them. There green color added to the beauty of the dish, it is very lovely to look at. I followed the recipe except I used whole wheat spaghetti because that is what we eat. The pesto was heavy enough to stand up to the whole wheat pasta no problem. We had it with a green salad and some good wine.


I know this is the second dish I have done from this book and that is not my plan. But it is a recent purchase so I have things I am anxious to try.


Cathy

Heather's picture

(post #67256, reply #11 of 51)

We liked that dish too.

cookie1's picture

(post #67256, reply #12 of 51)

Please post the recipe if possible. A creamy macaroni dish is my idea of a good macaroni dish.

Cheryl


It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

Cheryl

It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

TracyK's picture

(post #67256, reply #13 of 51)

It's been posted: http://forums.taunton.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=tp-cookstalk&msg=39854.1


Enjoy! You'll love it... I made it for Thanksgiving and several people said it was the best they'd ever had, and hounded me for the recipe.



"The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every day."
                                                        --Jon Stewart

cookie1's picture

(post #67256, reply #14 of 51)

Thank you so much Tracy.

Cheryl


It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

Cheryl

It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #15 of 51)

Thanks Tracy. Cathy


Edited 12/30/2008 6:51 pm ET by slycat

Lee's picture

(post #67256, reply #19 of 51)

I have to try this.  Three people have given it a thumbs up.  Shouldn't it go into T&T?

kathymcmo's picture

(post #67256, reply #20 of 51)

I could be the fourth vote, it was really very good. I followed Tracy's advice to saute the onions before adding them in.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67256, reply #21 of 51)

It took me awhile, but I found the post where you explain "Cooking Through the Stacks." http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk/messages?msg=43323.8

Sounds like fun!

"Recently I moved all my cookbooks, 150+ of them, plus all my saved cooking magazines, from various parts of the house to a bookshelf in our bedroom. It was the only place I could put a bookshelf big enough. It has turned out to be the best place I could have put it. I tuck into bed each night with a different book. Plus I am looking at books I have not looked at in years.

I have decided to try and cook at least one recipe from a different book or magazine once a week or so. I can post or not as I know this is not the rules of the thread. I know this sounds a bit like Heidi Sawnson's 101 cookbooks. But I can see her point. Plus I have a rule for myself... keep it simple, just pick one and go with it. Because sometimes with me, between the magazines, online sites and all these cookbooks I sometimes do more looking than cooking and that frustrates me some. I will think I am going to make such and such for dinner, than spend hours pouring through books and online to find just the right recipe, and we end up eating eggs because I can't make up my mind. So part of this is to get me beyond that point and just cook.

If this is okay with the rest of you I will think up a name and start. I can see where cooking through one book would be fun. When I get a new cookbook, and I got two new ones just yesterday, Urban Italian and Flo Bakers new one. I cook out of it for awhile. Then I have my favorites from the book and it sets on he shelf. So this is my way of revisiting some old friends and trying new things."

slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #22 of 51)

I do a lot of reading and not always a lot of cooking. Tend to slip back into my old standbys. Also, my husband is a nuclear engineering consultant and is out of town three nights a week. So this has encouraged me to cook something new and different when he is home. Saving the scrambled eggs for nights I am home alone!


It has been fun, but I was sick for a couple of weeks and then we were on vacation, so I have not done as much cooking as I would have liked. But it is fun, and knowing I can post here, keeps me on track some.


 


Cathy

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67256, reply #23 of 51)

I've been rereading some of my old cookbooks lately. I find that the introduction and first chapter are often my favorite parts-so even if I don't cook anything new, it is pleasurable to thumb through them again.

KarenP's picture

(post #67256, reply #24 of 51)

I will think I am going to make such and such for dinner, than spend hours pouring through books and online to find just the right recipe, and we end up eating eggs because I can't make up my mind. So part of this is to get me beyond that point and just cook.


You took the words and actions right out of my mouth.  I look forward to really cooking on the weekend so much and because my weeks are so nuts I want it to be just the right thing.  If I don't decide by midweek and get prepared, it isn't going to happen as it does in my head.

I love the way that you've planned this.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67256, reply #25 of 51)

;-) Except I was quoting slycat-the credit for the idea is hers.

But ITA-I am finding more and more, if it involves stopping, more than likely it means stopping for takeout.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #67256, reply #37 of 51)

That is a great idea.  I also want to cook from different books and the only way that I accomplish that is to rotate the books from one location or the other to the kitchen. 


I just posted a shrimp and scallop recipe that is out of a Pacific Northwest cookbook that is at least 15 years old and when I made it I thought to myself, how did I miss that especially with all of the available seafood here in coastal Carolina.


You mentioned the Urban Italian and I have that on my wish list.  How do you like it and is it worth buying?  I always go to used books (never disappointed) so I might take another look.




 


slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #40 of 51)

Urban Italian is a great read, but I have not cooked from it yet. I am thinking of doing the ravioli in a couple of weeks with some friends we are having over. It is a meat filled ravioli and I have never done one before. I have done a cheese and spinach filling and squash, but never a meat.


I have the Pacific Northwest cookbook, it is great. Another one I have not cooked from in a long time is The Ark, which is from the restaurant on the Oregon Coast. It has a couple of great recipes I use to make all the time.


The thing that is so fun about digging out some of my old cookbooks is that I cook different now. My kids are grown, I have more money to spend on food and I am am a better cook and more willing to try something a bit different. So while I have been making some old favorites there are recipes in these books I would not have made ten years ago that sound really fun now!


Cathy

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #67256, reply #41 of 51)

DH is from Washington, but hasn't lived there for 40 years or so, but when we were visiting relatives I always picked up a book from that area...


I am glad that I really got into cooking in my 20's, married young and I only had one child then inherited 3 more.  I am from a big Italian family and food is the heart and soul of the family.  I always cooked even when I worked.   Dinner 7 nights a week and entertaining on the weekends.  Oh to be young again. I still cook pretty much every night and we entertain a lot. 


I am sure that like most of us here we can say that fabulous things come out of our kitchens and I for one am often disappointed when we eat out, what you get for your money is sometimes shameful.  Needless to say, we don't eat out very often. 


I was just on Amazon (while my oven cleans itself) and noticed The Ark is listed as the New Ark Cookbook, is that the same one?  Can you post a short recipe from your book?  Like I need further temptation.


Oh here I go again, more books.  I just bought two "Little Book of Scarves" knitting and I paid 8 bucks for each when they are at least $19.95 at the stores. 




 


slycat's picture

(post #67256, reply #45 of 51)

The Ark cookbook I have was my mother's. My sister gave it to her for Christmas dated 1984, so it is the old one. My parents were big seafood eaters and they dug clams, crabbed, picked oysters, fished etc. This cookbook is filled with lots of recipes for those.


There is an Oyster Stew my mother made a lot, shallots, butter, tabasco sauteed then the oysters are added, just to cook slightly, then the pan is deglazed with sherry and half and half is then added. It was good, and I am not an oyster fan.


Also a sturgeon recipe with a garlic raspberry sauce that sounds good. Although I would not know where to even get good surgeon now. I admit I was spoiled and have only had to buy fish and seafood in the last 10 years or so and I still find it impossible to find the really fresh stuff.


Lots of berry desserts and a dessert for a chocolate peanut butter pie I made years ago, which was wonderful, fattening and decadent.


There is an Oregon Blue Cheese Bread that I have marked to try. It is a yeast dough with crumbled blue cheese, onions, eggs, Worcestershire and chopped chives.


I have never eaten at the restaurant, but the cookbook I have is good. Let me know if you want me to post an entire recipe and what you are looking for and I'll be happy to do so.


Cathy


 

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #67256, reply #46 of 51)

That all sounds so good and that book is on my wish list.  I have access to all kinds of fresh seafood here at the coast and right now it is oyster season.  I'll report back when I get the book and make a few of the recipes.


 




 


Jean's picture

(post #67256, reply #47 of 51)

I have access to all kinds of fresh seafood here at the coast


And you want to move??!!



What was the best thing before sliced bread?



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soupereasy's picture

(post #67256, reply #48 of 51)

I asked the same question after the virtual tour of her home. ;)

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #67256, reply #49 of 51)

I know, but Seattle is just a short flight from Boise.  Sure I'll miss complete access to fresh seafood, but there is some good beef and pork out west. 


I have managed to ship fresh seafood to Arizona and Idaho over the years with no problem at all.  Now that they charge for baggage, I'll just have to leave my clothes at home. 


We usually buy 36-50 pounds of shrimp at about $3.00 a pound once a year and that can be easily worked out in one trip to visit family and friends here.  I know that I will miss the local oysters and clams, blue crabs, and grouper, but there are other fish in the sea and lakes to be had as well. 


Not to worry, not much is selling around here I am not going anywhere any time soon.